Christopher McQuarrie earned my respect with Edge of Tomorrow (now retitled Live.Die.Repeat) and now my respect is doubled. This film is exactly what audiences expect to see when watching a Mission Impossible film - politics, espionage, action sequences, twists, and Cruise kicking ass. Yet, this film did all that and gave us more. Even with all it's high-tech spy gear, and insurmountable odds being overcome, McQuarrie made it seem authentic.
Ethan Hunt: The Syndicate is real. A rogue nation, trained to do what we do.
The storyline pits Cruise's Ethan Hunt against his anti-Hunt Soloman Lane, a rogue agent who is bent on bringing down the world that created him. So Lane and Hunt play a thrilling chess game that offers one twist after the other.
The returning cast were a pleasure to see as always. Simon Pegg is fun and brings some of the film's comic relief scenes to life effortlessly. I am not a huge fan of Jeremy Renner so I welcomed his limited appearance in the film. Alec Baldwin played the smug head of the CIA well. Cruise did what Cruise does best and honestly I can't even imagine this film franchise without him at the helm.
Benji: She tried to shoot me!
Ethan Hunt: That doesn't make her a bad person.
The talent that stood out most to me though was newcomer and beautiful (in a classic Hollywood actress kind of way) female lead Rebecca Ferguson. She just delivered everything and was utterly on point throughout the film and had me cheering for her just as much as I was cheering for our IMF heroes. (Side note: She made me miss one of my favorite espionage series ALIAS).
Alan Hunley: Set your watch, Brandt. Ethan Hunt's living his last days as a free man.
The film's action sequences were just edge of your seat fun! Beautifully shot, directed, and choreographed. From the film's unexpected opening sequence, to the motorcycle chase, to all the hand to hand combat scenes, McQuarrie truly shows off his effortless brilliance at directing this genre of film, all the while staying true to the film's established world. The sequence that stands out the most is the one that occurs at the Vienna Opera House. This sequence simply proves what a concrete vision McQuarrie had and he delivered. Check out this breakdown of the scene narrated by McQuarrie himself.
William Brandt: Welcome to the IMF, Mr. Secretary
I recall when Quantum of Solace came out back in 2008, my biggest problem with the film was that all of a sudden James Bond was behaving like Jason Bourne. I am beyond pleased to see that McQuarrie did not do that at all. Nothing about the film felt out of place, on the contrary - the film felt more in place that its predecessors (MI:III and MI: Ghost Proctocol - although both are great films).
The fact that McQuarrie and Cruise didn't rely on going 'all out' and trying to top the predecessor and instead worked on simply delivering a good film may be the reason why the film ends up indirectly topping Ghost Protocol.
Benji Dunn: Join the IMF and see the world. On a screen. From a closet.
The film's score was quite memorable as well taking moments from the opera and merging it with the theme of Hunt and Faust.
Benji Dunn: Let me guess. Presumed dead?
Ethan Hunt: Well tonight, I just made it official.
All in all this film was impossibly entertaining and can be seen over and over again. Cruise has confirmed a Mission Impossible 6 in the works - I pray he brings McQuarrie and Rebecca Ferguson back to guarantee another addition to the franchise.